Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alliance was bound together by a shared commitment to the liberation of people from all forms of oppression and exploitation and not by electoral alliances or pacts of convenience. File picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Johannesburg - All was not well within the tripartite alliance and components between the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have been strained, ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.

“The organisational challenges we face, the social and economic realities we must confront and the forces of reaction that we must defeat, all require that the Alliance must remain intact. And yet, all is not well within the Alliance,” Ramaphosa said in a speech prepared for delivery.

“Each of the components of the Tripartite Alliance - the ANC, SACP and Cosatu - are experiencing their own challenges in maintaining the cohesion of their structures and the coherence of their policies and programmes. At the same time, relations between the components of the Alliance have in recent times been strained.

“Different components of the Alliance have taken positions and made public pronouncements that are sharply at odds with each other. We cannot allow this to continue.”

Ramaphosa was speaking at the SACP gala dinner in Johannesburg.

He said that the alliance was bound together by a shared commitment to the liberation of people from all forms of oppression and exploitation and not by electoral alliances or pacts of convenience.

“If we do not address the tensions within the Alliance, we will weaken — and perhaps ultimately destroy — the greatest hope that our people have for social and economic freedom. We must begin now, deliberately and honestly, to work through the differences between our formations,” he said.

“We need to do so politically, avoiding the temptation to personalise our difficulties.We need to hold fast to principle, act in a disciplined manner, and place the interests of the people above everything else. Repairing, uniting and building the Alliance is among the most pressing revolutionary tasks of the moment.”

Ramaphosa said that the Alliance was “up to the task”.

He added that 23 years after seizing power in a democratic election they need to reflect on the past because “we are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the enemy”.

“There are signs that we may not have learnt the lessons of history. There are signs that we may have taken for granted that our revolutionary movement would never succumb to the corrosive currents of political power,” Ramaphosa said in a speech prepared for delivery.

“In considering the state of our country and our movement, we should acknowledge that there is much to be concerned about. In doing so, we should not surrender to the feverish narrative of the opposition forces, which seek to deny the outstanding achievements of the last two decades.”

Ramaphosa said that the ANC, its Alliance partners, and South Africans have made progress in changing the country for the better.

“But as a revolutionary movement, we are bound also to recognise where we have made mistakes, where we have fallen short, where we have taken a wrong turn. And as a revolutionary movement, we must correct our mistakes and return to the path that leads to the complete liberation of our people.”

He warned against people using their positions to benefit themselves and their families or friends and not the people of South Africa.

Policies, laws and regulations should serve the needs of South Africans and should not be used to “secure advantage for narrow interests or unduly benefit those that are well-connected”.

“We cannot accept in any manner, shape or form the notion that state entities are being used to divert contracts to particular individuals and families. We cannot accept any such practices, because they stand in fundamental opposition to the values of the movement that Oliver Tambo led for three decades,” he said.

“We cannot accept any such practices because they rob the poor and the marginalised not only of the resources that are due to them, but also of the better future that has been promised them.”

Ramaphosa said that those in power should be responsive to the cries of people and when people raise their grievances it should be done without doing damage to their own interests and those of others.
African News Agency